Title: Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack: OST

Author: Calenlass Greenleaf

Disclaimer: I did not create the world of Final Fantasy VII, nor did I invent the various characters. FFVIII is the property of Square Enix and its creators. I only claim OCs and various plotlines. I'm not a scientist/doctor/engineer/soldier, so there may be a few inconsistencies. Take everything written with a grain of salt, and don't repeat or written medical processes. This story is a work of fanfiction; any resemblance to actual characters, situations, etc., is purely coincidental.

Spoilers: FFVII & Compilations

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Everything only goes as far FFVII & Compilation take it in regards to violence, swearing, etc. No slash, yaoi, yuri, shonen-ai, or smut.

Summary: Not a songfic. This is collections of oneshots, with each story based on a song title from FFVII's and the Compilation's soundtrack. Stories may not pertain to a song's actual melody. Characters will vary.

A/N: I don't when this will be finished; will be updated whenever the Muses feel inspired. This collections of stories are stand-alone; they will not related to the Exegesis Files, a series I'm currently working on.


A/N: This story pertains to the song's actual melody (Think piano-style). Story contains spoilers for FFVII & Compilation, and may be considered slightly AU by some if wished.

Characters: Vincent-centric.

OST – "The Prelude" (プレリュードPureryūdo)

Cloud: …can sins be forgiven?

Vincent: I've never tried…

FFVII: AC

-Introduction-

He once played the piano.

His mother had said his fingers were perfect for playing piano. His father had agreed, seeing that when her mind was set, she was not liable to change it.

Reluctantly, he obeyed his parent's wishes. He gave up a hour a day to practice the scales and simple little tunes, just to please his mother. His feet dangled whenever he sat on the stool, and the sounds he produced from the grand piano went "tink, plonk, plonk, tink." Day after day after day.

But as time went on, he realized he enjoyed it. He then played for pleasure, long into the night. Not once he did complain of aching fingers. His teachers called him a protégé, a genius with the piano. He would someday become a great master, they said. His talent, his talent—how they rambled about his skill.

And his parents were proud, especially his mother. She showed her appreciation with words and presents. She was his greatest supporter.

He played in auditions, in concerts—whenever his parents could afford, it he willingly played.

His heart was in the music. He composed his own pieces, playing them for his mother. He even composed a song for her. He called it "Pureryūdo," or "The Prelude" as it was translated. The song had no words, but he told her it was to honor the day she had insisted he play the piano.

She smiled at him and kissed him fondly. And he beamed up at her and played the piece again.

His mother was his dearest thing in the world. When all other children disregarded their parents, he listened to his mother and looked up to her. When others spoke disparagingly of their mothers, he quietly praised his, not caring if they called him a "mother's boy."

His mother was perfect in his eyes—flawless, gentle, and encouraged. It him smile every time she affectionately called him her "little bodyguard."

For as long as she was happy, he was happy.

Then she grew ill. The cough she passed off as a cold grew worse, and her beautiful face became wan and thin. Her fainting spells grew frequent.

And she began to fade… His father spent much of their savings in attempt to save her. He—they—were desperate. She could not die—no, not his dear kaa-san. The sunshine in his life…

Two years of his life was spent in and out of hospitals and clinics, sitting in cold, white rooms. He scarcely practiced during that time, wishing to be with her. Though she would scold him for leaving his piano untouched, he insisted on staying with her. His fingers, so skilled, could do little but clasp the her hand and squeeze it for solace. His large eyes pleaded with her not to leave him—

But she passed on, with a sad, fond smile to her husband and son.

He did not cry when he felt her hand go limp in his.

He did not cry at the funeral.

He did not cry when his father mentioned that his piano lesson would no longer continue.

But he did cry when they moved out of the little house in the countryside. He wiped his tears and whispered 'good-bye' to his piano in the dark corner, knowing he would never see it again.

From that day on, something had died in him. He no longer smiled, and his eyes became dim and solemn.

-Exposition-

He and his father moved into a city—a city that stank to high heaven and was rampant with unsavory characters. Everything was too loud and dirty, the people coarse and sneaking. The news here were all the same, and everything lived in some sort of fear. The school he went to was filled with different children that stared at him and whispered behind his back.

He hated it. Everything, from the dingy apartment to the men with glowing eyes and guns, made him more and more resentful of the fact his mother had died.

The arguments with his father, which had begun since the decision to move, grew more heated. They could never seem to get along during those dark days.

He went out more often, staying to the alleys and backstreets, walking alone in contemplation. Seclusion became his escape, loneliness his best friend. He was sad, yes, but there was also masked anger. Anger that he did not what to do with.

Anger with the world.

Anger with his father.

Anger at…nothing.

By and by, he pushed away all thoughts of his childhood love for the piano. That dream was dead to him. Life matter little, and he wondered at it purpose.

One day, a gang attempted to take him down. He evaded their grasping hands and weapons, knocking the leader out and grazing two others with the knife he had. The others he dodged, slipping through the tangle of streets. It was almost too easy for him, he who grown up under a culture that placed a high regard on self-defense.

And he smiled as he ran, his blood humming. It was an odd feeling, a feeling that he not felt since he had stopped playing piano.

But he did not know someone watched him.

Someone who had watched him during his lonely excursions, and took note of him.

He approached by a man in a blue suit. The man appeared to be pleasant enough, but he could see that behind the calm face, something lurked.

Something that fascinated him.

The man spoke of needing skills—dexterity, wits, a quick ear—for a department in the current government. All he needed to do was agree, receive some training, and he would be on his way.

At first, he was skeptical. He questioned this. He considered himself a norm; where he came from such skills were ordinary. Besides, he had not spent that much time honing those skills. But the man continued to speak, and he found himself drawn in.

And he agreed.

His father, as he expected, was strongly against it. They argued for the last time, and he, at the age of sixteen, left the only family he had for a new life.

-Development-

This new life required more of him than the man had told him. The training was simple; he passed the tests with relative ease. But the actual jobs were not so breezy.

He found the meaning of the words "to kill."

He was eighteen when he shot down his first man—a criminal on the run.

Nineteen when he killed a woman—the wife of an official who decided to rebel.

Nineteen and a half when he put a gun to a child's head and pulled the trigger—the son of resistant group.

Twenty when he bombed an entire apartment.

And the list went on.

At first, he had been bothered by what he did, but as time went on and he moved up the ranks, his conscience died, little by little, until only a part—the part he refused to let the world touch—remained.

He rarely heard from his father, only seeing him from time to time. They avoided each other, going to great lengths to achieve this.

He was at the bar when news came that his father had died during an accident. At first, he had shrugged it off, until the realization hit him.

Dead.

Like his mother.

Never to come back.

He spent the night at the bar, dead-drunk when morning came and his fellow partners had to drag him out and sober him up.

At the age of twenty-three, he realized he was on his own.

On his own…

He tried to make light of this, burying his father in the morning. But by the afternoon he was back on the job.

His father was dead; he could not bring the dead back.

And he dedicated himself to his work, losing himself in it. There was nothing for him in this life expect to excel at his work.

Four years passed.

He was now a trusted member, respected by those above and below him. He could handle various weapons with ease, and his hand-to-hand combat was only rivaled by a few.

His childhood seemed to be in the past. He vaguely remembered the little countryside house, his mother's smile, the piano…

Then, one day in December struck out at him. It was a cold, wintry day, snow blanketing the city and seemingly covering the grime. It was supposed to have been a casual mission; nothing difficult. He had been in the front, leading the group—

Until he heard the sound of someone plucking out a tune on a piano—

He had frozen in place, heedless to the concerned faces and frantic whispers of the others.

The pianist was not a good one; he counted several mistakes. But he could hear the determination behind the notes…

And for the first time, he could not carry out the mission. His associates did everything for him.

He watched from afar as the melody faltered, broken by the gunshots…

When asked why he failed, he did not reply, saying only that he could not—

Would not.

The more questions they asked, the more he drew in on himself, refusing to answer. How could they understand lost memories and lost dreams?

For this, they sent him to a backward village far away from the city, to—of all things—be a bodyguard.

A bodyguard. It was almost ludicrous. After eleven years of service, this was how he was repaid? But he had no say in this.

He traveled to that place—a sorry-looking building that was supposed to be a mansion. Here, it seemed that insanity lurked in every nook and cranny. He wondered when this assignment would end.

The only bright spot was she.

Her warm, laughing eyes. Her smile. Her teasing little comments, and her nickname for him, "Mr. Bodyguard."

She reminded him of his mother. There were differences, of course, but he easily overlooked them, truly smiling for the first time in years.

He realized—he was in love.

They spent several happy weeks together. He no longer thought of himself as her bodyguard, but as a friend—and perhaps something even more.

And from time to time, he would remember his childhood…the dream that was just out of his grasp, so close, so close…

Until the day he discovered how his father had died. He had stumbled upon the information quite by accident, but her reaction to this was to distance herself. The more he tried to convince her that it was her fault, the harder she tried to avoid him.

Before he knew it, she was engaged, then…married to him—that sorry excuse of a man.

He told himself as long as she was happy, then he would be, too.

As long as she was happy…

But she was not. He watched, helplessly, as she faded, much like his mother had. He could do nothing. So he watched her stumble, fall, and pick herself back again, brushing away the tears she did not know he saw. She insisted he could do nothing.

He still tried to. He ruthlessly shoved his pride aside—

And all he received was a gunshot to his stomach.

They said he died, but was revived for a heinous purpose. They said that the one he loved made him that way he was now… They said that by her hands, he became an experiment—a monster. Something to feared.

He didn't believe them.

He remembered—refusing to forget—those dark weeks spent in the underground, locked away.

Weeks spent biting his lip in an effort not to scream…

…ranting at a particular scientist with that damnable grin…

…fighting against demons that threatened to overtake his mind…

…willing away the pains, the spasmings of his body, the feelings of helplessness…

But not once did he rile her.

Not even in the least bit.

He refused to believe that it had been her intention to make him suffer. She did nothing wrong. Nothing.

He would only say it was his wrongdoing. His sin.

His punishment was an immortal life. He had heard people wish for immortality. They thought of it as something bright and full of light. The world would become theirs, and they could go on living forever, enjoying the supposed gift of life.

They did not know the long, sleepless nights of guilt and frustration.

They did not know how the mind becomes the adversary.

They did not know that some wounds take more than eternity to heal.

And people wondered why he locked himself away in a coffin for twenty some years.

How could they possibly understand?

He had only one reason when he decided to leave the coffin—revenge.

Revenge is best served in a cold dish, he realized, and this brought him into contact with the world again.

But the world had changed—for the worse. The people did not understand him; they pointed, stared, and whispered. Once more, he was the outsider.

However, he could hardly care less. Since when did the opinions of others matter?

He was on his own.

He was not searching for forgiveness—no matter what they said, it was his fault—but retribution. For himself, and others.

And he made his enemies pay.

But, what next? He watched as those who had fought alongside with him went on with their lives, picking themselves up easily.

He had nowhere to go.

After revenge, what was next?

He had nothing.

Then, before he knew it, the peace was shattered. He saw people grow ill and die horrible, painful deaths.

And he could not turn away from the sight.

Once again, he showed up to play the valiant knight—to help his friends in a fight that was not his.

He was told that forgiveness was something free. It was there for him to take.

He did not believe it.

How did they—even his friends—understand that he needed to pay?

And life went on. At times, he still isolated himself, but he found himself more drawn to the happiness he saw in others. They had something that had been stripped away from of him, something he secretly longed for and knew he could not have.

One of his friends owned a bar; he went on occasion to pass on messages. The children there were not afraid of him; they did not judge him by his looks, and his attitude did not dissuade them from asking questions.

He would have visited more had it not been for the piano sitting in the corner…

It was dusty, old, and chipped. Unlike his, this was a small upright. No light illuminated its surface, no person sat on the chair and plonked away on the yellowed keys.

He pushed away the urge to walk over, sit down, and play something.

It was not possible until the dept was paid…

Yet he wondered when he could accomplish that goal. It had been so long, and everything seemed as elusive as ever.

-Recapitulation-

But it was not the end. Demons of the past will never lie quietly, he learned. They spring up when you least expect it, overpowering you with ease.

He was attacked, both physically and emotionally. His memories were his greatest enemies, and he wondered if would ever be free…

For the first time, he wondered if he could forgive himself.

The world that he knew overrated forgiveness. The word was carelessly used, stuck into various stories and plays, over and over until people forgot what it meant. People thought saying "I'm sorry" covered everything from scraped knees to vehicle crashes.

In his eyes, "I'm sorry" was like a tiny bandage for a festering wound.

If only it were that easy for him.

"I'm sorry…"

He refused to say those words.

His friends told him to let go of those memories.

He refused.

They were his purgatory. He could not let them until the price was paid.

For the third time, he saved the world from disaster.

He confronted each of those memories, unflinchingly.

He found release from the one that tormented him.

The agony he had kept bottled up was released. The pain he had hid from the world was bared.

They say the final stretch to run in a marathon is always the hardest.

He didn't care what others said, though.

It was time—

—to let go.

Memories of memories of memories—

It was easier than he thought.

He realized he had been clutching broken glass in his hands, holding tight even when the pain was excruciating.

But now, slowly, ever so slowly, he had opened his fingers and released the shards, watching them fall, leaving scars behind.

Just like that.

-Coda-

He finds himself among friends now, as he sits in the bar and half-smiles at the jokes they pile on him in an effort to make him laugh.

"'Cmon, one laugh wouldn't hurt…"

"…Laughing won't permanently damage your face…"

But he was hardly paying attention. He had eyes only for the piano…

Finally, he gets up. Tugging the gauntlets off his hands, he drops them on the countertop and warns everyone with his glance not to touch them.

His footsteps were slow and firm as he walks toward the corner. Pushing his cloak aside with a flourish, he sits down on the stool and raises the cover to reveal the ivory keys. He runs a finger over their surface, and presses down on the middle key.

Terribly out of tune.

That makes no difference to him.

Heedless of the curious looks he was garnering, he places both hands on the keyboard and closes his eyes for moment.

Thirty, forty years—maybe even more—had gone by since he had done this.

With a light flick of his wrists, he opens his eyes and plays a line.

Then another line—

And another.

Quite forgetting he had an audience, he plays the song that he not played for so many years.

Pureryūdo.

Prelude.

He still remembers it.

The piece was short, just a little over two minutes. He spent perhaps a week composing it, scribbling down the notes on the back of his homework as fast as he could.

He still remembers the first time he played it just for her.

As he reaches the last note, he looks up to meet the gazes of those he has come to call his friends…

Though he has lost much in his lifetime, gaining much heartache over those years, the memories have become memories, no longer painful, no longer grating.

I tried…it was easier than I thought…

Forgiveness…

Like a prelude, forgiveness is the start of something fresh.

And, for the first time since his mother died, Vincent Valentine laughs.

The End



A/N: "Kaa-san" means mother in Japanese. Though my Japanese knowledge is minimal, I picked this term up long before I ever saw AC.

On Vincent:

The first time I saw him as a Turk in DC, I thought he looked half/semi-Oriental. Hence, in all my fics Vincent will be half-Wutainese.

The piano thing stems from the fact that most Asians play some sort of instrument, usually piano, during their childhood. I was not different; while today I'm not a professional, playing only at my church on occasions, I've always loved piano and piano music. This fanfic grew out of the feelings of nostalgia I had, and I think maybe if I had worked harder at it, I might have actually accomplished something with the piano. But then that wouldn't have left me time to write…

And, before anyone asks, I ship Vincent/Lucrecia, Vincent/Yuffie, and Vincent/Shelke.

This is one of the many scenarios that I've envisioned in regards to Vincent. As I've said before, it's a oneshot and will not connect to any other stories.

This story started with that first sentence, and took off. Originally meant to be a Cloud fic; turned into a Vincent fic in third paragraph. Quote later added to the beginning. DC's theme song "Redemption" does not play a part in writing this story.

The story breaks used are the form of the first movement of a sonata: Introduction, Exposition, Development, Recapitulation, and Coda.


And there you have it; my first uploaded/posted FFVII fanfic.